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Is There a Need for the ICTY to Clarify the Difference(s) between Life Imprisonment and Imprisonment for the Remainder of the Offender's Life? The Galić and Lukić Decisions

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Since Nuremberg, war criminals have been sentenced to life imprisonment. The International Military Tribunal for Nuremberg sentenced three offenders to life imprisonment. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East sentenced 16 offenders to life imprisonment. The ICTR has sentenced several offenders to both life imprisonment and to imprisonment for the remainder of their lives. The ICC is empowered to sentence offenders to life imprisonment. The ICTY has sentenced one offender (Milan Lukić) to imprisonment for the remainder of his life and another (Stanislav Galić) to life imprisonment. This article analyses two cases in which the ICTY has sentenced one offender to life imprisonment and another to imprisonment for the remainder of his life. The author argues that although the ICTY imposed different sentences in the two different judgements, in practice both sentences are likely to have the same effect.

Affiliations: 1: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


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